I’m on my way to getting back to blogging on a regular basis. Let me tell you, I have been craving to get back to this. And after this post, I have so many things I want to write about. But I just have to get this out. I don’t know why. But I’m wrapped up in a quilt from Ghana and the Sunday Carolina sun is saying good morning and I’m just — here.
I think we happen upon the best things in life by falling. (I literally just fell into bed and into the waning afternoon light dancing in stripes along my legs. Perfect.) I think that whether we’re moving on, falling in love, letting go, or easing gracefully into the scary unknown, we all take leaps of faith in some way. And if we’re lucky, we fall into things, places, and people that make us feel more alive.
When I was a little girl, I had what was amusingly referred to as “Natalie’s Cabinet.” I only know of this through my parents’ stories and a home video or two, but, dear friends and family who I’m sure know how I like everything nice and neat, you probably aren’t surprised that when I was two, I had a cabinet full of plastic tupperware that I would take out and reorganize on a regular basis. (It’s so crazy to think about how indicative the things we did as kids are on how we grow up and who we are as adults!) My world was that kitchen cabinet, and I had the freedom to make a mess of it in order to make sense of it. Years later, I’m embracing that same freedom in different ways.
While I may not have grown much in length since those days, my world has certainly expanded. And I’ve given up trying or even wanting to organize or have a handle on most of it. But in this beautiful chaotic mess called life, I still embrace order of some kind – and when I’m not using my hands, I use writing to do just that. Back to that idea of falling – writing is where I’ve landed. Writing forces me to pause, observe, pay attention, refocus. It reminds me to breathe when I forget. It even allows me to procrastinate doing economics homework on lazy afternoons like this one. Language is my foundation, my structure, and I attempt to infuse it with creativity as I tangle everything up again. A fellow blogger put it well: Piecing together phrases and allowing the English language freedom to be its original, organic self is as thrilling for me as a chef working with new cutlery. I, too, want to create something delicious, to craft words that melt smoothly in the mouth and settle finely in the mind, layered with flavor, spice, and profundity. Writing myself out of and into a disarray of words and those layers of flavor is what I’m after.
True to my cabinets of wonder theme (okay, enough about cabinets already), today I’m wondering about how other people make sense of their lives. What causes you to pause, to pay attention? When you forget to breathe (can you tell I’m a fan of extended metaphors?), what reminds you?
I try to get at writing at every angle I can, and this blog – a beloved outlet – is one of those angles. Most days, I feel like my life is one big transition, and lately I have been struggling with my search for solidarity – in anything. I’m trying to figure out what keeps me grounded, what keeps me sane. Using this blog to wrestle with writing while at the same time offering up parts of my day-to-day journey to my family and friends who enjoy knowing about what I’m up to is, selfishly, a win-win for me. Because here, I’m two years old again. And I’m still playing (albeit with words instead of tupperware). And I’m still curious about how the pieces of my world fit together, and still loving every minute of figuring out where I fit in it, too.